Friday, January 31, 2014

Animal Kingdom in 30 Photos

Hello again, I know, I've been away for awhile. Work has been insanely busy. Too busy to relax and blog. My poor students have been neglected for some critical I.T. projects this week. And I've neglected more than my classes... my sanity perhaps. And tomorrow's February. Well then! Time to play catch up. We only went to the Disney parks 5 days and I can't seem to get it together to write about those 5 glorious days. And here is when I try and redeem myself for lost time.

Saturday, January 4th, the polar vortex I was descended on Maryland while it stayed a beautiful 60 degrees in Florida. But Animal Kingdom felt more like Africa or Asia (the two countries the themes are based on and for the record there is also dinosaur land, but we blew past that part of the park). Animal Kingdom was less crowded then the other parks and a favorite. The Tree of Life which is a work of art in itself is at the center of the park and breathtaking. The scenery / vibe of the park is surprisingly authentic. I've never been to Asia or Africa but the park definitely didn't feel like we were in Florida. See pictures below for a better visual than I could ever describe. 

We had an excellent morning in Africa where we went on the not to be missed African Safari ride which is pretty incredible. Bumpy but fun. All our pictures are of the animals and it looks any well kept zoo with appropriate habitats. I think the 20 crocodiles or giant hippo was my favorite. The savanna was incredible and the trees / plants were just as beautiful. The Asian tiger trek was pretty cool too. We got to see a pair of female tigers up close and enjoyed walking through the jungle. 

We had a character lunch at Tusker House and the food was delicious! We met Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Safari Mickey! Besides the characters at Tusker House, in Animal Kingdom we met: Pocahontas (only park you can meet her in), Baloo and King Louie (Jungle Book), Rafiki, Tigger and Pooh, Mickey and Minnie and Chip and Dale, whew), But I think the best part of Animal Kingdom were the shows! We went to Finding Nemo the Musical and had "bubble zone" seating. It was a great show! And then we ended our day (3:30pm show) with the Festival of the Lion King. We had "priority seating" with our FastPass (it is in a round theater with four sections around for seating). We sat down but a family with a dad in a wheelcahir sat in the handicap seating right in front of us. The family made such a big deal out of it (they didn't want to block the views of you two) that a cast member moved us up to a special "reversed" seating bench in the front of our section. We sat basically on the stage. We easily could have tripped or touched any of the performers. It was simply... magical! Daddy was chosen as our section elephant representative and was part of the show and then at the end Lucy was chosen to dance and play an instrument and she paraded around the whole theater with one of the performers. I have a video because it was simply precious! The memories will last a lifetime. We laughed and sang and enjoyed the 30 minute show; a perfect way to end our day at Animal Kingdom. 

There are 30 photos of this day for your enjoyment. I have 100 more to choose from but I did my best to capture our memories from this day. 

Tree of Life rest stop.
Pooh in his Christmas attire.
The wonderful thing about Tiggers...
Lucy loved reading the map. Waiting for Nemo to start.
The costumes were incredible! We were so close!

Tiger! Sister in the background. 
See what I mean about the scenery? Asia, I think! 
This was the water fountain at the end of the jungle trek. 
Safari Mickey!
Matching elephants!
Rafiki from Lion King!
Pocahontas spent time talking to you two.
Daddy trying to high five King Louie! Look at those long arms!
This is the reserved bench we were moved to for the Lion King show. We sat in front of the audience on the floor.
So cool!
This was taken from our seat, you can see we are in front of everyone!
The show happened all around us!

Lucy, you loved it! That's Simba in the background!
Mickey and Minnie together! Lucy- you hugged Mickey for a long time!
Lunch with Donald!
Nora cradled baby Simba!
Lucy- you held Tinker Bell!

Chip and Dale. Somehow you both went to the 'appropriate' one. 
Another good day together at Disney! 

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